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Dual Core i3 v Quad Core Phenom ii

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April 8, 2012 10:10:39 AM

Right im planning a new budget gaming rig, my GPU of choice will be the 560ti and most of the parts are decided apart from the MOBO/CPU combo. with my cpu budget around the £100-£125 mark would i be best suited getting a Dual core i3 2125 or getting a Phenom ii 965/960t. My initial thought was the i3 as it has better per core performance but with newer games utilising more cores wouldnt the phenoms be a better option for the budget as i could always overclock them to match the per core performance?

note: i do quite a lot of multitasking whilst gaming, and like running dual monitor setup.

Many thanks in advance, any input welcome :) 
April 8, 2012 12:26:23 PM

The i3 blows away any competition for gaming, and gets much higher FPS and even is better (except in a game or two) than AMD's 8 core FX. Most new games don't utilize more than 2 cores and even in BF3 (which the recommended is to have 4 cores) beats the AMD's CPUs. The AMD CPUs overclocked don't even beat the i3.

If you wanted a four core CPU go for an intel i5. I would also wait as it is so close now till the Ivy Bridge cores come out so I would recommend that you wait for just a little then go and buy the new i3 / or a Sandy Bridge i5 as they will be a bit cheaper and will fall into your price range.

Here's a Tom's Hardware article showing the i3's are better for gaming than the AMD CPUs. Just skip to the benchmarks.
April 8, 2012 4:13:00 PM

as new consoles are going to be multicore based, so probabily new games will use more cores effectively.
And if you can do overclock, and don't care about power requirements.
Then i will go with phenom 2.
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April 8, 2012 4:25:18 PM

thanks for both of your advice, its a difficult one!

i think i will wait and see how much the i5 processors drop in price, and if it is not substantial then i will go with the 960T or 965BE and overclock it i think!

alsooooo, anyone have any better recommendations for a better GPU around the £150 mark??
April 8, 2012 4:25:24 PM

for gaming-
powerful dual core(i3)>weak quad core(x4)
April 8, 2012 4:27:20 PM

aye i know that the i3 would currently trump the x4, but if the games released in 2012/13/14 are more quad core based then i may regret my decision....
April 8, 2012 4:44:10 PM

i3, or wait for i5 to be cheaper, I'd wait till end of April for i5.
April 8, 2012 4:47:40 PM

If you're looking 2 years in the future then you also need to take into consideration the per clock performance. The Phenom's are getting old (almost 3 years old actually) and are already beginning to show their age. So, sure you will have yourself a quad core CPU, but you can't know for certain that you won't get bottlenecked by each of your cores individual performance.

If you just absolutely need to buy now, get the i3. If the gaming industry does finally get around to making games able to utilize four threads, I would be fairly surprised to see the Phenoms beat out the i3.

The best route you could go, is just hold off on the build for a little bit. Save up some money until Ivy Bridge hits the shelves and get yourself an i5. It will be a quad core, probably about 5% performance gain over sandy bridge, and have what should be awesome overclockability thanks to the 22nm die shrink.
April 8, 2012 4:59:04 PM

Wait for the i5 to be cheaper. Then you have a great all round performer, and will last a long time.

For a GPU I would go for a Radeon 6870 or a GeForce GTX 560 - both great cards, come in at around £120 and can easily max out any new game. Get that Sandy Bridge i5 and you will have one beast of a system.
April 8, 2012 5:08:08 PM

aye looks like i will be waiting a few weeks for ivy bridge! and a few more for sandys prices to drop! i just wish i could go AMD... alas.

cheers for all your advice, and in terms of the GPU is there a better card for around the £150-160 mark or is the price jump not worth the performance increase?

cheers
April 8, 2012 5:19:49 PM

You can get the 7850 for 250 $ and it trades blows with the gtx 580 and the 6950.
I would get the 7850 instead of gtx 560.
The 7850 can overclock and each perfomance of 7950 and it has very less power consumption.
As far as the CPU goes, if you just play the game the i3 is good , but when you have the game running on 2 cores and a browser or skype or other program running on the other core the quad core will win.
i3 is good for benchmarks, not for real world use where u have a game, browser, skype, torrent all open.
That is why u need a phenom 2.
The phenomen can be OC like a beast and then its core perfomance will equal i3.
Fianlly phenom is the best buy.
April 8, 2012 5:29:35 PM

ceejay93 said:
aye looks like i will be waiting a few weeks for ivy bridge! and a few more for sandys prices to drop! i just wish i could go AMD... alas.

cheers for all your advice, and in terms of the GPU is there a better card for around the £150-160 mark or is the price jump not worth the performance increase?

cheers

Yes, the GTX 560 Ti.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-GeForce-560TI-DirectCUII-G...

Or if you can't spend an extra £6 to get a fairly better card:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-GeForce-DirectCU-Graphics-...

But I would get the first one.

By the way, hold off on the GPU too. New GTX 600s are coming out, those cards should be cheaper by then. You might even be able to get a 560 Ti 448 core for that or slightly more.
April 8, 2012 6:59:56 PM

yup, the new gtx6
!